Ajhis1307's Blog

Education and *The Spark*: or Difficulty of true education | 3/31/10

Since the creation of the Idea of Public Education, or Education for all, that education has slowly been moving away from the way Plato and Socrates would have envisioned it. Education has moved away from being a “spark” that lights a grand fire, to a “coin or nugget” that can be placed in a vessel. Socrates viewed education/learning not as giving but as enticing. If you asked him a question he would not give you an answer, he would most likely ask you a question. He wants you to figure it out for yourself. Socrates knows that you can figure it out but you feel you cannot. This is where the Idea of Education being Given to Someone, they feel they cannot figure it out so they ask. Because so many people began to feel this way, the People on Top thought they would Give an answer. They did not Give an Answer because they cared about the well-being of the lowly people, they Gave an Answer so they could Oppress them and make them Dependent of the People on Top. After all, If you are on the Top of the Hierarchy you do not want the people at the Bottom Thinking For Themselves, then they might realize they are being oppressed.

This Model of Ask then Give, became the standard for Education, This Idea was later assimilated by America, in its quest for Education For All. Schools began to teach in this way, they also had strict standards. After time Education Theorist began to rethink Education. They began to think a little more about the child. Thinking about the way the child would want to learn. This did not work very long before it turned into the old system of oppression. Then a man named Paulo Freire wrote a book called Pedagogy of the Oppressed. This Book challenged the current model for Education, especially education of the masses. Freire believes that, By stating, “Liberating education consists in acts of Cognition, Not transferrals of Information.” Freire has seen the Oppressive Education system of Multiple Countries and realizes that there needs to be a Liberating Education. There are Endless amounts of Great Quotes in Freire’s Book, AGAIN I highly recommend reading it. Some have listened to Paulo Freire and His message but I feel the majority/Education system has not realize the value of His Writings. Because they have not heeded his call, they continue to perpetuate this system of oppression, which we call “An Education.” Since this form of “education” has continued for ages, I feel that the child has become acquainted with being Oppressed. This is where the “Getting off Task” stems from. For the Last 12+ years student have been taught through the Banking System. They go to school, sit in class, and Expect to be Filled with “Knowledge.” If the teacher does not Put “knowledge” in then they say that they are off task. The students expects to have “knowledge” put in them, but the child is not familiar with ANY other Form of this. When Any other form of conveying knowledge is put in front of students, if they are unfamiliar with the form, they do not think that it will work.

Now, the quote that stood out most to me was Plutarch’s. He states, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” This along with the end of Martin Buber quote, “The spark that leaps from him who teaches to him who learns rekindles a spark of that fire which lifted the mountain of revelation “to the very heart of heaven.” This got me to think of Making a Fire. I am not an outdoorsman but I have friend that are, they are also not the best. One time they used Gasoline AND Alcohol to try to start a fire. Now, If Gasoline is in the “Fire-pit of the Mind”, then as spark will quickly set off a fire. If wood is in the “Fire-pit of the Mind” then the spark may not quickly start a fire. If Sand or Nothing is in the “Fire-pit of the Mind” they NO fire will start. By this I am talking about What is put into the Mind before Someone tries to Spark the “Fire-pit of the Mind.” The thought of Fire implies that something has to be able to catch fire. I do feel that something has to Be Placed in the “Fire-pit of the Mind.” It is the Job of the student to choose whether Something is Good or Bad: Wood, Gas or sand. A spark cannot turn into a fire unless good material is in the “Fire-pit of the Mind.” How can fire start if Nothing is ready to be lit. I use my life as an example, I had a teacher who taught me about Locke, Hobbes, Napoleon, The Greats. He filled my “Fire-pit” with Sustainable Wood. Then when I went to College I met a professor who’s spark landed in the “fire-pit of wood”, and Created a flame. It has inspired me to strive to know more about history as well as Education. I chose which Material to put in my “Fire-pit” and I Received a spark, Now I have to kindle a fire, so that I can create a spark for someone else one day. That is my view of Education.

Southern’s quote “We learn not by being told but by being puzzled and excited.” This means that we are not Educated by being to but by Exploring. When a question arises, instead of asking someone higher then us to give us an answer, we should seek the answer ourselves. This is the puzzled part, we may not know where to start or were to go but if we use our knowledge we can figure it out. Then when we figure it out we have Truly Learned and are Now excited that we have taught ourselves.

These are what education was, and hopefully one day be again.

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